Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Jane Harper is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. She has the uncanny ability to take the ordinary and create mystery and suspense seemingly out of thin air. An ordinary corporate retreat camping in the woods in her hands becomes a teeth clenching, heart racing, suspense filled event!

Daniel Bailey, the CEO of the boutique accountancy firm of BaileyTennants in Melbourne, decided that it would be a great idea to have a corporate retreat out in the wilderness of the Giralang Ranges. They would split the mangement teams into two groups, men and women, then hike and camp in the wilderness for a couple days. On the last day they would trek out, meet up, and relax at the lodge for their last night. But things did not go as planned and when the women came out of the wilderness six hours later than scheduled, Alice was not with them. “Later the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things. One: No one saw the bushland swallow up Alice Russell. And two: Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you in two.” And with those two sentences the stage is set and the suspense begins.

Soon the rangers and the police are investigating- trying to pinpoint where the women had been and where Alice was last seen so that search and rescue teams can begin their search efforts. In Melbourne, Federal Agents, Carmen Cooper and Aaron Fulk are surprised to see that one of their most important assets is now reportedly missing.  Alice had been their sole source in an ongoing federal investigation into a money laundering shceme and she had tried to call Fulk the day before she went missing.

Interspersing the story of the women’s disastrous camping trip with the investigations into Alice’s disappearance, Harper creates a taut plot with characters who are conflicted and unreliable. Alice, a take charge, controlling figure, is understandably not well liked, but her additional role as an informant against her own company raises the stakes even more and it quickly becomes hard to know who to believe or trust.  As the layers of distrust, dislike,  personal conflicts and corporate malfeasance are revealed, Fulk and Cooper must determine whether any of these motives led to Alice’s disappearance and potential murder.

Brenda’s Rating: ****(4 Out of 5 Stars)

Recommend this book to: Sharon and Marian

Book Study Worthy? Sure!

Read in ebook format.


This entry was posted in Detective novel, Fiction, Mystery, Prize Winner, Prize winner, Psychological Mystery, Suspense and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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